Viterbo, Community Theatre collaborate on new performing arts center

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Viterbo University and the La Crosse Community Theatre are partnering on the construction of a new performing arts center.

SLIDESHOW: La Crosse Community Theatre building

The La Crosse Community Theatre (LCT), which has spent four decades in an aging building on Fifth Avenue in downtown La Crosse, announced in June that is was planning to build a new $6.7 million theater at the intersection of King and Front Streets, along the Mississippi River next to the Riverside Center buildings.


At a press conference Wednesday the two organizations announced they will share the new theater, which will be named the La Crosse Performing Arts Center.

The now $9.6 million building, originally planned for 23,000 square feet, will be 30,000 square feet, have a 450-seat main stage, a 100-seat secondary stage (a “Black Box” theater) costume and scene shops, and classrooms to be used by both Viterbo and LCT.

“We are so excited,” says LCT executive director David Kilpatrick. “Theatre is the art of collaboration. In this case, (Viterbo and LCT) know each other well and have been informally working together for a while.

“This is an incredible opportunity for both Viterbo and LCT,” says Viterbo President Rick Artman. “We need a mid-size theatre space for our students to have more diverse performance opportunities. This collaboration provides an opportunity to establish programs of national distinction in theatre.”

A groundbreaking for the new building is scheduled for November 16. Construction is expected to take about a year.